Job roles in childcare blog header

Job roles in childcare

Staffing can be a challenge in any business, but it’s especially difficult for the childcare industry. Directors are looking to find qualified, responsible candidates who can be trusted to care for young children and help them flourish.

Childcare center owners know that the most important part of their business is not their curriculum, their meal plan, or their facility: It’s their staff. 

Hiring quality childcare staff starts with a job posting. A well-written job description is one of the best gatekeepers a Director can have during the hiring process. If done correctly, it will encourage only the most highly qualified candidates to apply; if done poorly, you will have to sort through a larger mix of candidates — or worse, those best-suited for the job won’t apply for it. 

(Hint: Use this job application form to keep all of your candidate’s information organized!). 

Early childhood jobs

Whether you’re a director looking to hire or a candidate looking for work, there are many roles to consider in early childhood education. Childcare centers require more than just early childhood educators! They also need cleaners, administrators, assistant educators, directors, and sometimes kitchen staff! 

Teacher outside with group of children

These days, the number one place for job hunters to look for employment is on a job board website. Be sure to post your opportunity on all of the major job websites that educators use to find their next role.

Examples of popular job sites include:

To make this easier, there are also services like ZipRecruiter that allow you to create your job posting once and then distribute it to all of the major job websites automatically.

If you are looking for career opportunities in the early childhood education industry, check out our FREE printable resume template to get a head-start on updating your resume.

Check out some of the most common childcare center job opportunities below! 

Center director 

The center director is responsible for overseeing the work of all staff at the childcare center. This involves planning, implementing, and supervising all activities at the center. Center directors must ensure that the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social needs of children in the program are met in accordance with all relevant legislation, policies, and procedures.

Common responsibilities:

  • Staff recruitment, management, and evaluation
  • Marketing of center programs to the community 
  • Managing classroom enrollment 
  • Maintaining the center’s website and social media profiles
  • Budget management 
  • Ensuring the center meets all licensing requirements
  • Administration, record organization, and maintenance
  • Team building
  • Shared decision-making
  • Overseeing daily operations
  • Creating a safe, respectful, and fair environment for children and staff

Assistant director

The assistant center director generally has two main responsibilities at the center. Their primary responsibility is as an educator in the classroom, working with children on a variety of educational subjects and life skills. In addition, the assistant center director also performs administrative and supervisory duties at the center on an as-needed basis. They also act as center director in the director’s absence or as training for eventual promotion to director. 

Early childhood educator

Early childhood educators take on the day-to-day supervision and operations of a specific classroom. This is the job role people most often associate with early childhood education, but it involves a lot more than most people think!

teacher and children

Common responsibilities:

  • Plan and implement activities and opportunities that encourage children to develop curiosity, exploration, and problem-solving skills 
  • Provide children with age-appropriate activities that promote physical, intellectual, and social growth
  • Adapt teaching methods and curriculum to meet children’s varying needs, interests, abilities, developmental levels, and learning styles
  • Develop and execute lesson plans 
  • Plan and prepare the classroom learning environment 
  • Supervise children in the classroom and outdoors
  • Provide a supportive environment where children can learn and practice appropriate behaviors
  • Interact daily with parents and caregivers; maintain open and cooperative communication with parents and families, encouraging their involvement in the program and supporting the children’s continued development at home

Assistant educator 

The assistant educator supports the early childhood educator with the supervision, learning, and development of children in a specific classroom. Their job duties are very similar to that of an educator, except instead of developing the lesson plans or curriculum, they support the implementation of these initiatives! 

Cook

The cook at a childcare center is responsible for all food preparation and cooking in the center kitchen. 

Common responsibilities: 

  • Cooking, baking, and food preparation for the children
  • Preparing special food for field trips as necessary
  • Safe food storage and disposal
  • Maintaining a daily log of food temperatures, as well as refrigerator and freezer temperatures
  • Ensuring compliance with all health and hygiene requirements under all food safety legislation
  • Kitchen operations, including scheduled cleaning and sanitizing of appliances, counters, cupboards, and drawers
  • Ensuring floors are swept and mopped after every meal

Cleaner

Some childcare centers use an outside company for cleaning, but others choose to hire their own dedicated cleaners. 

Common responsibilities: 

  • Cleaning main entrance doors inside out
  • Cleaning and sanitizing kitchens and washrooms
  • Cleaning classroom tables, cabinets, counters, windows, etc
  • Emptying waste containers
  • Vacuuming carpets and mopping hard floors 

Office administrator 

The office administrator is responsible for operational leadership. They manage all office functions including center tours, enrollment numbers, staffing schedules, parent inquiries, etc. Some childcare centers will have their director or assistant director handle these tasks and others will hire a dedicated administrator. 

Common responsibilities: 

  • Creating instructional resources for use in the classroom
  • Record keeping of attendance and upcoming enrollment
  • Handling tours and center marketing
  • Preparing budgets and annual reports
  • Formulating center goals and objectives
  • Managing the staff schedule and future staffing needs 
  • Managing parent inquiries through email and phone calls 

Hiring and retaining staff at a childcare center can be challenging. Ensure you are forecasting your enrollment ahead of time and match it with your staffing needs. Use detailed, accurate job descriptions to drive in the best candidates for each position. Good luck! 

Christie White

Christie is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at HiMama. She is passionate about children's development, parenting, and supporting the child care industry. She has been working to support child care centers with their events and marketing for almost a decade. In her personal life, Christie lives in Stouffville, ON with her husband Kyle and dog Tucker. She enjoys going for walks, baking, cooking, and watching reality tv!

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